Poets for Science
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Umbra

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Swarms of newcomers invade the park.
As the light fades into an odd blue
hue, the boy stares upward, in his hand
a fortune cookie. The scope of the sky
doesn’t matter when the noonday
moon invites you to escape.

A gaggle of befuddled geese escape
to a moss-covered pond. Scooters park
along a picket fence, bringing in more day-
trippers impatient for an eclipse. The blue
sunlight edges toward gray, but the sky
is still bright. The father fidgets, his hands

arguing with a camera. The boy hands
his father the fortune. No one escapes
alive. Father pockets the fortune as he eyes the sky.
In an old pickup truck, the mother arrives. Park
the picnic basket there, the father points to a blue
tarp weighted with limestone. Every day-

dream is a ready answer, she thinks, her day
overrun with dreams. Her right hand
holds a blank book, while her left holds blue
orchids. A turquoise-tinted hummingbird escapes
detection, zipping toward her. The park
floods with tourists the way the sky

floods with birds. Soon there will be no sky
to see, a passerby whispers to the boy. Today
is the boy’s birthday, and the ballpark
is where he’d rather be, trying his hand
at magic. Once, the boy narrowly escaped
disappearing into a crowd. Once, out of the blue,

the sun was swallowed by the moon. A blue
moon is not an abomination, and the sky
is not the limit, says the mother to the sun. Escape
is in the mind, says the father to himself. The day
inches along, people hand-in-hand,
singing, in love with astronomy. Park

rangers pass out glasses in the parking lot. Blue
petals spill from the mother’s hand. The father escapes
into a daydream. Their son stares at the prophetic sky.